KUALA LUMPUR: Pejuang president Mukhriz Mahathir today questioned Putrajaya on how the money from various stimulus packages and Budget 2021 was used.
The Jerlun MP said RM320 billion was approved under the 2021 budget and billions more under various economic stimulus packages.
He said the tourism sector was one of the largest contributors to the nation’s coffers before the Covid-19 crisis but till Aug 20 this year, only 337 or 3.6% tourism-linked small-and-medium enterprises had received any financial aid.
From the RM600 million for the tourism industry, only 11.2% has been channelled, he added.
“This is worrying. How to save them if their needs are not looked into during this health crisis?”
On special aid packages for the rakyat, he said only 3% from the RM10 billion under the 2021 budget and other packages were allocated for the hardcore poor, poor and the middle-income group.
Calling it too little, Mukhriz said the hardcore poor were given RM1,300, divided into three payments.
The B40 low-income group was given RM800 while the M40 group received a one-off payment of RM250.
Singles and senior citizens received a one-off payment of RM200.
“This money should be seen as investment as each time the rakyat spends money it goes back into the economy,” Mukhriz said.
He also questioned the finance ministry’s announcement that a stimulus package of RM300 billion was available for the rakyat and businesses.
“Why has the money not been spent till today? If the money is there, why are we still hearing of plans to increase the country’s debt ceiling to 65%?”
He reminded Putrajaya that the rakyat had been digging into their own Employees Provident Fund (EPF) savings and reducing overheads through debt moratoriums, totalling up to RM350 billion.
He also called for the government to make decisions based on science and proper data, especially on the reopening of schools, as students have still not been vaccinated while not all teachers are fully vaccinated. FMT
THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT / FREE MALAYSIA TODAY